Greater Cleveland lost more jobs than any metropolitan area in the country in December — the eighth month in a row the area has had that unwelcome distinction.
The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor region lost 6,400 jobs between December 2012 and December 2013, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday.
That’s a 0.6 percent decline and more jobs year over year than the other 371 metro regions in the United States.
The Akron area — composed of Summit and Portage counties — meanwhile, gained 5,300 jobs from December 2012 to December 2013, for a 1.6 percent increase.
“Akron was the bright spot in Northeast Ohio,” said Cleveland-based researcher George Zeller.
Zeller was surprised by the number of jobs lost in the Cleveland region.
People “were predicting [the Cleveland area] had a chance to break this long streak,” he said, referring to other analysts.
The nation’s 372 metro areas are determined by the U.S. census.
Akron did better than any of Ohio’s 13 metro areas in terms of percentage of jobs gained. Cleveland fared the worst in terms of percentage decline.
Overall, the state gained 25,100 jobs year over year, for a total of 5,228,800 employees on nonfarm payrolls. That is a revised number and represents a turnaround from November when the state lost 7,000 jobs.
“We are recovering, but the problem is the recovery is too slow,” Zeller said. He noted that since 2000 the state has lost 435,600 jobs.
Since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, he said, Ohio has lost 227,600 jobs. “None of the counties in the Cleveland and Akron regions have totally recovered all of the jobs they lost in the Great Recession.”
The state continues to lag the nation in job growth, Zeller said. In December, Ohio fell below the average growth rate for the country for the 18th consecutive month.
Among all of the state’s metro areas, Greater Columbus gained the most number of jobs in the December-to-December period: 12,000. That was a 1.2 percent gain — the highest percentage gain after Akron.
The Canton-Massillon area, composed of Stark and Carroll counties, lost 300 jobs for a 0.2 percent decline.
The Labor Department report also included other bad news on the job front for the Cleveland area: It was the only metro region that had a year-over-year percent decrease in employment — 0.6 percent — among all 37 metro areas with employment levels above 750,000.
After Greater Cleveland, the largest year-over-year decrease in employment nationwide was in the New York state area of Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown. This region lost 5,200 jobs — a 2 percent decline.
The biggest gainer of jobs in the nation was in the metro area including New York and Northern New Jersey, which gained 135,300 jobs.
Overall, 294 metropolitan areas had increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 67 had decreases, and 11 had no change.
By Katie Byard - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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